Amid Campaign to Hobble Her VP Chances, Kamala Harris Tells Black Girls Lead Conference ‘I Want You to Be Ambitious’


As some allies of former Vice President Joe Biden mount an effort to torpedo Kamala Harris’ chances at the running mate slot by citing her “ambition,” the California senator doubled down on the trait by telling a young Black women’s conference “I want you to be ambitious.”

Senator Harris has been the favorite to complete Biden’s ticket for months, but there has been a serious internal push this week to knock Harris down in favor of contenders like California Congresswoman Karen Bass and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The themes of the campaign to hobble Harris have revolved around her lack of “remorse” — as former Senator and current VP task force leader Chris Dodd reportedly put it — for her contentious exchange with Biden at a June debate, and her “ambition.”

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell added to the din this week by positing Rep. Bass as a “safe choice” and asserting that Harris “can rub some people the wrong way.”

On Friday, Harris addressed the issue of ambition, and the way the trait is cast in relation to gender and race, during a virtual panel for the Black Girls Lead conference:

“There will be a resistance to your ambition,” she said during Black Girls Lead 2020, a virtual conference for young Black women. “There will be people who say to you, ‘You are out of your lane,’ because they are burdened by only having the capacity to see what has always been instead of what can be. But don’t you let that burden you.”

For his part, Biden showed up for a press conference this week with a list of notes defending Harris that was captured by a photographer, in case he was asked about the controversy.

Biden has said he will announce his selection next week, but anonymous sources are pushing the idea that the announcement could be delayed a week or more.

Watch video of some of Harris’ remarks above via MSNBC.

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